Editorial Commentary: Long-Term Survivorship of Knee Meniscal Transplant Surgery-The Importance of Patient-Reported Outcomes With Magnetic Resonance Imaging Demonstration of Retained Meniscal Transplant Function

Frank R Noyes
Arthroscopy 2020, 36 (8): 2275-2278
The altered knee joint function and symptomatic state in younger patients after meniscectomy and progressive tibiofemoral arthritis remain an important unsolved treatment dilemma. Meniscal allograft transplantation has evolved as an acceptable treatment because there are few (if any) other options. The procedure is effective in most patients, who experience a decrease in tibiofemoral pain and improved knee function, even allowing a return to light recreational activities. However, biological remodeling of the implant occurs over time, with replacement of the complex circumferential and radial fibers with disorganized collagen tissues and altered cellular and proteoglycan components that affects load bearing and negates chondroprotective function. Positive patient outcomes may still be reported even with the loss of meniscal transplant function on magnetic resonance imaging giving a false-positive survivorship analysis. Repeated surgical procedures are frequent by 10 years. Patients are advised that meniscal allograft transplant surgery, although beneficial in the short term to buy time, is not curative.

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